The Latest: Bills finally reach end zone, but still trail

The Latest on the second Sunday of the NFL regular season (all times EDT):

2:50 p.m.

It took nearly 95 minutes, but the Buffalo Bills finally reached the end zone.

The Bills were the last NFL team that hadn’t scored a touchdown this season, but Chris Ivory scored on 1-yard plunge with 11:06 left in the third quarter against the Chargers. The TD cut Los Angeles’ lead to 28-13.

— John Wawrow reporting from Orchard Park, New York.

___

2:45 p.m.

So much for Ben Roethlisberger’s achy right elbow.

The 36-year-old quarterback has thrown for 278 yards and three touchdowns in the first half as the Pittsburgh Steelers rallied from an early deficit to pull into a 21-all tie with Kansas City. Roethlisberger missed two days of practice last week after injuring the elbow late in a Week 1 tie in Cleveland.

Kansas City led the Steelers 21-0 after the first quarter.

___

2:35 p.m.

The Cleveland Browns are making another credible bid to end their winless streak.

The Browns took a 6-3 lead into halftime against the New Orleans Saints. New Orleans has moved the ball in stints, but has two turnovers on fumbles after receptions. The Saints also have missed a field goal.

Cleveland now has eight takeaways this season, including six in the season opener against Pittsburgh. That game ended in a tie, snapping a 17-game losing streak for the Browns.

Facing the Browns appears to have brought about a remarkable transformation of New Orleans’ defense, which gave up more than 500 yards in a 48-40 loss to Tampa Bay in Week 1.

___

2:20 p.m.

Calvin Ridley has scored his first NFL touchdown.

Ridley, a first-round draft pick out of Alabama, hauled in an 11-yard scoring pass from Matt Ryan with 4:03 left in the first half, pulling the Atlanta Falcons into a 10-all tie with the Carolina Panthers.

On third-and-8, Ridley broke toward the middle on a slant, beat cornerback Donte Jackson and made the catch crossing into the end zone. He celebrated with an emphatic spike before being mobbed by his teammates.

___

2:10 p.m.

Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins are dueling at Lambeau Field.

Rodgers’ 9-yard touchdown pass to receiver Davante Adams with 12:28 left in the second quarter gave the Green Bay Packers a 14-7 lead over the Minnesota Vikings. Rodgers is wearing a brace on his injured left knee.

He’s limited and slower than usual, though Rodgers does have some mobility. Rodgers is also getting outstanding protection from his offensive line after getting sacked to end his first series.

Cousins, meanwhile, hit his first nine passes for the Vikings. Minnesota gave up a special teams touchdown on a blocked punt.

___

2 p.m.

Atlanta Falcons safety Damontae Kazee has been ejected from the game against Carolina for a vicious hit to the head of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

Newton was struck after running for 10 yards on a fourth-and-4 play in Falcons territory.

The quarterback was sliding to the turf at the end of the play when Kazee dove low to deliver a helmet-to-helmet hit that snapped back Newton’s head. Teammate Torrey Smith raced in to deliver a hit that sent Kazee to the turf, also drawing a personal foul penalty but not an ejection.

Several skirmishes broke out. Newton was finally able to get up and head to the medical tent. As he walked off the field, he took off his helmet and let out a defiant scream.

While officials sorted out the penalties, Newton was quickly examined and returned to the field without missing a play.

Six plays later, Newton threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jarius Wright, giving the Panthers a 10-3 lead.

Kazee was making his second career start. He is the first player ejected for the league’s new helmet rule this season.

— Paul Newberry reporting from Atlanta.

1:55 p.m.

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes is picking up right where he left off in the season opener. The 22-year-old threw three touchdown passes in the first quarter as the Chiefs raced to a quick 21-0 lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Mahomes threw four touchdown passes in a victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in the opener.

The Steelers finally got on the board in the second quarter to make it 21-7. The Chiefs are trying to win in Pittsburgh for the first time since 1986.

___

1:40 p.m.

Rookie quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Josh Allen are facing early deficits.

Darnold got off to a better start than he did in the New York Jets’ opener at Detroit, when he threw an interception on his first career pass. But Darnold was picked off late in the first quarter against Miami on Sunday, and the Dolphins took advantage of a short field to take a 7-0 lead over the Jets.

Allen made his first start for the Buffalo Bills, but they fell behind 14-0 against the Los Angeles Chargers. Buffalo finally got on the board with a field goal in the second quarter.

The Bills remain the only NFL team that hasn’t scored a touchdown this season.

___

1:25 p.m.

Blaine Gabbert started at quarterback for the Tennessee Titans, though Marcus Mariota is active against the Houston Texans.

Mariota hurt his elbow in the season opener, a 27-20 loss at Miami. Gabbert came out with the offense for its opening series after the Titans stopped the Texans’ opening drive. It was the 46th start of Gabbert’s career.

Rookie coach Mike Vrabel dipped into a bag of tricks to get the Titans on the board first on a fake punt . Safety Kevin Byard threw the ball to wide-open rookie Dane Cruikshank. He ran down the right sideline and faked out Texans returner Tyler Ervin for a 66-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

— Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville, Tennessee

___

1:20 p.m.

Aaron Rodgers started for the Green Bay Packers against the Minnesota Vikings, wearing a brace on his left knee. Rodgers completed three passes on Green Bay’s first drive, which ended with a punt.

The Packers later took a 7-0 lead with a special teams touchdown. Geronimo Allison blocked a punt deep in Vikings territory after rushing up the middle. The ball was recovered by rookie Josh Jackson, who jumped to secure the ball and landed in the end zone.

Rodgers was questionable coming into the game after hurting the knee in the season-opening, come-from-behind win over Chicago. The Packers operated out of a shotgun or pistol formation on Rodgers’ first drive.

___

1:05 p.m.

Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson again took a knee during the national anthem, this time before the team’s game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

All of the Jets players linked arms, along with coach Todd Bowles and CEO Christopher Johnson while standing together on the sideline during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Last Sunday, Stills and Wilson also took knees, and were the only players in the NFL to do so.

Colin Kaepernick, then with the San Francisco 49ers, sparked the anthem controversy by kneeling during the pregame ritual in 2016 — his way of protesting police brutality and social injustice in America. He thanked both Stills and Wilson on Twitter last week for “their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed.”

League-wide, only about 10 players participated in any form of protests. On Thursday, Stills insisted that his pregame statements are not going away.

“It’s something I’m committed to forever,” he said.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Chargers tackle Russell Okung stood behind the line of Los Angeles players with his right arm raised and hand in a fist before the game at Buffalo.

— Dennis Waszak Jr. reporting from East Rutherford, New Jersey.

___

12 p.m.

The NFL Foundation will contribute $1 million to Hurricane Florence relief efforts.

That contribution will be distributed to organizations that will address the immediate needs of those impacted throughout the Carolinas and other areas.

“The NFL family sends its support to the individuals, families and communities affected by Hurricane Florence,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Sunday. “Natural disasters like this are devastating. As communities in and around the Carolinas recover and rebuild, we hope these funds will provide some measure of relief in the days, weeks and months ahead.”

NFL fans are encouraged to text FLORENCE to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Hurricane Florence relief.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

49ers’ Buckner replaces Eagles’ Cox in Pro Bowl

49ers' Buckner replaces Eagles' Cox in Pro Bowl

49ers’ Buckner replaces Eagles’ Cox in Pro Bowl

San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman DeForest Buckner is Pro Bowl-bound for the first time in his three-year NFL career.

Buckner was selected to take the place of Philadelphia defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who is out due to a right foot injury that limited him Sunday in the Eagles’ 20-14 loss to the New Orleans Saints in a divisional playoff game.

A 24-year-old Hawaii native, Buckner finished this season with a career-high 12 sacks plus 67 tackles and three passes defensed. He started all 16 games for the 49ers, and he has missed just one start in his pro career. Buckner has 21 career sacks.

The 49ers selected Buckner with the seventh overall pick in the 2016 draft out of Oregon, where he was the 2015 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.

Buckner joins two San Francisco teammates, fullback Kyle Juszczyk and tight end George Kittle, in the all-star game to be played Jan. 27 at Orlando, Fla.

Cox, 28, had been elected to the Pro Bowl for the fourth year in a row in his seventh NFL season. Starting every game for the defending Super Bowl champions, he notched 10.5 sacks, 46 tackles, a forced fumble and a pass defensed. He had five tackles (one for a loss) in two playoff games this month.

A Mississippi State product, the Eagles made Cox the 12th overall selection in the 2012 draft. He has 44.5 career sacks.

–Field Level Media

Read More 174 Words

Arians: Steelers WR Brown has become ‘diva’

Arians: Steelers WR Brown has become 'diva'

New Tampa

Arians: Steelers WR Brown has become ‘diva’

New Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians used to have a close-up view of Pittsburgh star wide receiver Antonio Brown when he served as the Steelers’ offensive coordinator.

Now his view is from afar, and he isn’t so impressed with Brown’s actions or behavior.

“There’s too much miscommunication, too much … diva,” Arians said Tuesday on The Adam Schefter Podcast. “I’ve heard so many stories — I like Antonio — he plays as hard as anybody on Sunday and he practices hard.

“He’s just gotta make better decisions off the field, be on time, do some of those little things.”

Arians was around for Brown’s first two seasons in Pittsburgh. The Steelers drafted Brown in the sixth round out of Central Michigan in 2010 and Arians was impressed with his hunger to become good.

“He was the hardest working,” Arians said. “He and Emmanuel Sanders. Boy, they went after it because (coach) Mike Tomlin used to tell them, ‘two dogs, one bone.’ And at that time we had Mike Wallace, Hines Ward, I mean we had a pretty good run for one of them to get on the field. By the end of the season, they were both winning for us to go to the Super Bowl.”

Arians left the Steelers following the 2011 campaign to become offensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts. He served as interim head coach for most of 2012 while Chuck Pagano was battling cancer, was the Arizona Cardinals head man from 2013-17 and sat out the 2018 season before becoming head coach of the Buccaneers.

Meanwhile, Brown’s future in Pittsburgh is uncertain after his Week 17 antics infuriated the organization. Brown reportedly skipped meetings and practices and didn’t return Tomlin’s calls.

When Brown showed up for the regular-season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals, Tomlin informed him that he wouldn’t be playing.

Last week, team president Art Rooney II said it would be “hard to envision” Brown being part of the team when it opens training camp in July.

–Field Level Media

Read More 278 Words

Report: Falcons DE McKinley sent for mental evaluation

Report: Falcons DE McKinley sent for mental evaluation

Atlanta Falcons

Report: Falcons DE McKinley sent for mental evaluation

Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley was undergoing a mental evaluation Tuesday after being detained by police in Los Angeles, according to TMZ Sports.

He reportedly was involved in an undisclosed incident at a hotel, and a friend who was with McKinley became worried and called the police.

TMZ reported McKinley was not arrested. Instead, police encouraged him to seek help, and he agreed and went with police.

“We were recently made aware of the situation involving Takk in Los Angeles earlier today,” head coach Dan Quinn said in a statement. “Any time a situation occurs that is or could be related to mental health issues we take it very seriously. We will do everything we possibly can to support and assist Takk, as our players’ mental and physical well-being are always our top priority.”

McKinley, 23, was the No. 26 overall pick by the Falcons in the 2017 NFL Draft. A UCLA product, he agreed to a four-year, $10.2 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons, which included a $5.6 million signing bonus, according to Spotrac.

In 31 games over two seasons, he has recorded 42 tackles, 13 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen missed several games this season as he dealt with a mental health issue.

–Field Level Media

Read More 158 Words

Eagles’ Jenkins added to NFC Pro Bowl roster

Eagles' Jenkins added to NFC Pro Bowl roster

Eagles’ Jenkins added to NFC Pro Bowl roster

Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins was named to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday, replacing New York Giants safety Landon Collins, who will miss the game after undergoing shoulder surgery.

It will be the third Pro Bowl appearance as a member of the Eagles for Jenkins, 31, after a season in which he had 97 tackles, a sack, an interception and three forced fumbles.

Jenkins will join Eagles tight end Zach Ertz in the Jan. 27 game at Orlando, Fla. Philadelphia guard Brandon Brooks and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox were also named to the NFC team but are being replaced because of injuries.

Jenkins, in his 10th season out of Ohio State, has 17 career interceptions, 14 forced fumbles and six touchdowns.

Collins, 25, in his fourth season out of Alabama, had 67 tackles in 12 games and a forced fumble. He has eight career interceptions, three forced fumbles and a touchdown.

Other Giants players who will participate in the Pro Bowl include running back Saquon Barkley, linebacker Olivier Vernon and kicker Aldrick Rosas.

The defending champion Eagles were eliminated from the playoffs after a loss Sunday at New Orleans. In two playoff games, Jenkins recorded 15 tackles.

–Field Level Media

Read More 139 Words

Broncos hire Bears’ Donatell as DC

Broncos hire Bears' Donatell as DC

The Denver Broncos agreed Tuesday to hire former

Broncos hire Bears’ Donatell as DC

The Denver Broncos agreed Tuesday to hire former Chicago Bears defensive backs coach Ed Donatell as defensive coordinator, the team announced.

Donatell has been one of new Broncos head coach Vic Fangio’s top assistants since 2011 in San Francisco. He also had two previous tenures in Denver as the secondary coach, from 1995-99 as part of two Super Bowl-winning teams and a one-year stint in 2010.

“Ed’s been an integral part of top-10 defenses for six of the last eight seasons in two different places, and he’s a great fit to be our defensive coordinator,” Fangio said in a statement. “Having worked very closely with him for a number of years, Ed has a strong understanding of the entire defense from the front end to the back end with the defensive backs being his specialty.”

Donatell, who turns 62 in February, interviewed for the Bears’ coordinator position after Fangio left for Denver, but that job went to Chuck Pagano. The Bears wanted him back as DBs coach, but Donatell was free to leave as his contract expired.

In Denver, he will have the coordinator title for the fourth time in his career, though Fangio plans to call plays on Sundays. Donatell was last a coordinator with Washington in 2008, after previous stints running defenses in Green Bay (2000-03) and Atlanta (2004-06).

The Broncos announced earlier Tuesday they have hired former Bears outside linebackers coach Brandon Staley for the same position in Denver, after he spent two years under Fangio in Chicago.

Per 9News Denver, the Broncos are continuing to interview San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello on Tuesday for their opening at offensive coordinator, after beginning the process Monday.

There have been no other reported candidates for the offensive coordinator position. Gary Kubiak was expected to fill the role before philosophical differences disrupted the plan, and he has since been hired by the Minnesota Vikings.

–Field Level Media

Read More 261 Words

Reports: Broncos hiring Bears’ Donatell as DC

Reports: Broncos hiring Bears' Donatell as DC

The Denver Broncos agreed Tuesday to hire

Reports: Broncos hiring Bears’ Donatell as DC

The Denver Broncos agreed Tuesday to hire former Chicago Bears defensive backs coach Ed Donatell as defensive coordinator, according to multiple reports.

Donatell has been one of new Broncos head coach Vic Fangio’s top assistants since 2011 in San Francisco. He also had two previous tenures in Denver as the secondary coach, from 1995-99 as part of two Super Bowl-winning teams and a one-year stint in 2010.

Donatell, who turns 62 in February, interviewed for the Bears’ coordinator position after Fangio left for Denver, but that job went to Chuck Pagano. The Bears wanted him back as DBs coach, but Donatell was free to leave as his contract expired.

In Denver, he will have the coordinator title for the fourth time in his career, though Fangio plans to call plays on Sundays. Donatell was last a coordinator with Washington in 2008, after previous stints running defenses in Green Bay (2000-03) and Atlanta (2004-06).

The Broncos announced earlier Tuesday they have hired former Bears outside linebackers coach Brandon Staley for the same position in Denver, after he spent two years under Fangio in Chicago.

Per 9News Denver, the Broncos are continuing to interview San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello on Tuesday for their opening at offensive coordinator, after beginning the process Monday.

There have been no other reported candidates for the offensive coordinator position. Gary Kubiak was expected to fill the role before philosophical differences disrupted the plan, and he has since been hired by the Minnesota Vikings.

–Field Level Media

Read More 194 Words

NFL notebook: Eagles still committed to Wentz

NFL notebook: Eagles still committed to Wentz

Philadelphia

NFL notebook: Eagles still committed to Wentz

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson didn’t waste any time putting an end to speculation about the team’s quarterback situation next year.

“Carson Wentz is the quarterback going forward,” Pederson said at a press conference Tuesday. “And in Nick (Foles’) case, listen, we’d love to have everybody back throughout the roster, but as I’ve said many times, it’s not about one guy, it’s about the team, and we’re going to do what’s best for the team.”

Foles, 29, led the team in the postseason each of the past two years with Wentz out injured. The Eagles hold a $20 million option on Foles for 2019, but the quarterback can buy it out for $2 million to become a free agent, barring a franchise tag.

–The New York Jets will hire former Cleveland Browns interim coach Gregg Williams as defensive coordinator, ESPN reported.

ESPN adds the Washington Redskins — whose defense Williams coordinated from 2004-07 — also pursued Williams, but the Jets had more interest. Washington still has Greg Manusky under contract as defensive coordinator, but reports have connected the team to various other options.

–The Denver Broncos agreed to hire former Chicago Bears defensive backs coach Ed Donatell as defensive coordinator, according to multiple reports.

Donatell has worked under Vic Fangio since 2011, when they were both in San Francisco. He also had two previous tenures in Denver as the secondary coach. Fangio is still expected to call plays on Sundays.

–The Arizona Cardinals are interviewing former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter for the same position, ESPN reported.

According to multiple reports, the Cardinals also interviewed John DeFilippo — who has also interviewed for the Jacksonville Jaguars’ opening — on Sunday.

–The Jaguars are interviewing former Cardinals offensive coordinator Mike McCoy for the same position, ESPN reported.

McCoy, 46, was fired by the Cardinals in October, marking the second consecutive season in which he was fired midseason. The Broncos let him go midway through 2017.

–The Indianapolis Colts parted ways with offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, while assistant offensive line coach Bobby Johnson is leaving to take the lead job for the Buffalo Bills.

The Colts allowed an NFL-low 18 sacks in 2018, but DeGuglielmo is out after just one year because head coach Frank Reich wants to hire his own guy, NFL Network reported. DeGuglielmo was hired by Josh McDaniels last year before the latter backed out of the Colts’ head job.

–The Dallas Cowboys will keep Marc Colombo as their offensive line coach full-time.

Colombo took over for Paul Alexander — who was fired just seven games into his first year with the Cowboys — at the end of October.

–The Browns are hiring Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Chris Jones, per multiple reports. TSN reports Jones will serve as senior defensive specialist.

Jones and new head coach Freddie Kitchens have a relationship dating back to 1997, when Jones was a graduate assistant at Alabama in Kitchens’ final season at quarterback for the Crimson Tide.

–The Kansas City Chiefs activated right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif from injured reserve and waived safety Ron Parker.

Duvernay-Tardif landed on IR after sustaining a spiral fracture in his fibula in Week 5, an injury that required surgery.

–The New Orleans Saints signed free agent defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker, per multiple reports.

Walker, 28, began his career in New Orleans as an undrafted free agent and played 23 games with the Saints from 2013-14. He’ll help replace Sheldon Rankins (IR, Achilles).

–Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley was undergoing a mental evaluation after being detained by police in Los Angeles, according to TMZ Sports.

He reportedly was involved in an undisclosed incident at a hotel, and a friend who was with McKinley became worried and called the police. TMZ reported McKinley was not arrested. Instead, police encouraged him to seek help, and he agreed and went with police.

–The NFL announced the Los Angeles Chargers’ and Dallas Cowboys’ staffs will coach the Pro Bowl in Orlando on Jan. 27.

–Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will replace injured Chargers QB Philip Rivers in the Pro Bowl.

Other Pro Bowl replacements announced Tuesday included Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams (for Geno Atkins), 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner (Fletcher Cox), Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (Luke Kuechly) and Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins (Landon Collins).

–John Parry will be the referee for Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, his second Super Bowl as referee and third as an official.

–Longtime NFL coach Mike Smith announced on Sirius XM radio he is retiring to spend more time with his family.

–The San Francisco 49ers are hiring former Broncos defensive coordinator Joe Woods as their passing-game coordinator, per multiple reports.

–New York Giants rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta pleaded guilty to a disorderly persons offense stemming from an October incident, ESPN reported.

–Field Level Media

Read More 737 Words

Panthers weighing options for QB Newton

Panthers weighing options for QB Newton

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper

Panthers weighing options for QB Newton

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper has not ruled out the possibility that quarterback Cam Newton might miss the 2019 season as he recovers from a right shoulder injury.

Tepper spoke Tuesday with reporters at Bank of America Stadium about the state of the Panthers, who finished their regular season at 7-9. Newton missed the final two games of the season because of a sore shoulder, which was surgically repaired two years ago.

A reporter asked Tepper to compare Newton’s injury situation with that of Andrew Luck, who sat out the 2017 season because of a shoulder injury and came back strong this season.

“If you told me he took a year off and could recover and be fully recovered and everything else, and that’s what it took, an extra year, why wouldn’t you do (that)?” Tepper said. “Now, we would have to do other things, right? We’d have to go out and get another quarterback. If you could find me some more cap space, I’d appreciate that.”

Newton, who will turn 30 in May, is a three-time Pro Bowl selection who has passed for 182 touchdowns and rushed for 58 more in his first eight seasons with Carolina. In 14 starts last season, he passed for 3,395 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions while rushing for 488 yards and four scores.

If Newton opts for another surgery or simply decides to rest his arm, the Panthers could choose from several veteran quarterbacks to help fill the void. Nick Foles, Teddy Bridgewater, Tyrod Taylor and Ryan Fitzpatrick could be among the options.

“Hopefully, Cam’s shoulder is fantastic, right?” Tepper said. “And we’re hunky dory, all fantastic. If it’s not, you may need more cap space. You may need to go out and find somebody. If you don’t, you guys are going to be writing what a dope we are here. … You want to put yourself as best you can in a position to win, and I’m talking for the long term.”

–Field Level Media

Read More 269 Words

Cowboys LB Vander Esch replacing Kuechly in Pro Bowl

Cowboys LB Vander Esch replacing Kuechly in Pro Bowl

Cowboys LB Vander Esch replacing Kuechly in Pro Bowl

Dallas Cowboys rookie linebacker Leighton Vander Esch is headed to the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement for Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, the Cowboys announced Tuesday.

Vander Esch, who turns 22 in February, set a Cowboys rookie record — by the team’s measurement — with 176 tackles despite starting just 11 games. (The NFL officially credited Vander Esch with 140.) He filled in for injured linebacker Sean Lee and then kept the starting job when Lee returned, chipping in two interceptions and seven passes defensed.

Drafted 19th overall last April, Vander Esch becomes the seventh rookie from the 2018 class to earn a Pro Bowl selection, joining running backs Saquon Barkley and Phillip Lindsay, guard Quenton Nelson, cornerback Denzel Ward, safety Derwin James and punter Michael Dickson.

Kuechly was not known to be dealing with an injury, but the NFL does not hold players to high standards to skip the Pro Bowl, which will be Jan. 27 in Orlando, Fla. The 27-year-old missed just one practice all season, a veteran rest day leading up to Week 16.

–Field Level Media

Read More 123 Words

Colts part ways with OL coach DeGuglielmo

Colts part ways with OL coach DeGuglielmo

Colts part ways with OL coach DeGuglielmo

The Indianapolis Colts parted ways with offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, the team announced Tuesday, despite his unit being one of the best in football this past season.

The team also announced assistant offensive line coach Bobby Johnson is leaving to take the lead job for the Buffalo Bills.

The Colts allowed an NFL-low 18 sacks and graded out second in pass blocking and fourth in run blocking by Football Outsiders, but DeGuglielmo is out after just one year because head coach Frank Reich wants to hire his own guy, NFL Network reported.

Indianapolis gave up a league-high 56 sacks in 2017.

DeGuglielmo was the only offensive coach hired last year by Josh McDaniels before the Patriots’ offensive coordinator changed his mind at the 11th hour to pass on the Colts’ head-coaching post. The Colts went on to hire Reich, who led the team to the playoffs as a wild card in his first season, in large part because of the revamped O-line.

Further, there were reports that Reich and DeGuglielmo weren’t on the same page. However, NFL Network reports Reich is recommending DeGuglielmo to others.

DeGuglielmo has been an assistant coach for 13 years, including previous stops in Miami, New England and with the New York Giants, the latter two resulting in Super Bowl titles.

Johnson will be in his second stint in Buffalo, after serving as assistant offensive line coach from 2010-11.

Whomever Reich hires in Indianapolis will inherit a group of young linemen led by All-Pro rookie left guard Quenton Nelson, rookie right tackle Braden Smith and former first-round center Ryan Kelly.

The Colts were ousted from the playoffs by the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday.

–Field Level Media

Read More 225 Words

Cowboys retain OL coach Colombo full-time

Cowboys retain OL coach Colombo full-time

The Dallas Cowboys will

Cowboys retain OL coach Colombo full-time

The Dallas Cowboys will keep Marc Colombo as their offensive line coach full-time, the team announced Tuesday, after he impressed during the second half of the 2018 season.

The Athletic reports the Cowboys gave Colombo, whose deal had expired, a three-year contract.

Colombo took over for Paul Alexander — who was fired just seven games into his first year with the Cowboys — at the end of October, and the line improved despite nagging injuries to left tackle Tyron Smith and right guard Zack Martin, as well as the absence of center Travis Frederick. Hudson Houck, a former Dallas O-line coach who returned in an advisory role after Alexander’s firing, told The Athletic he will not return to the team.

Some speculated the Cowboys could have a tough time retaining Colombo if the Miami Dolphins’ expected next head coach, current New England Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores, wanted to hire him. Flores and Colombo were teammates at Boston College from 1999-2001.

Colombo, 40, played offensive tackle for the Cowboys from 2005-10 as part of a 10-year NFL career. He joined the Cowboys’ staff as an assistant in 2015 and was promoted to assistant offensive line coach in 2016.

–Field Level Media

Read More 143 Words

Browns reportedly add CFL head coach to staff

Browns reportedly add CFL head coach to staff

The Cleveland

Browns reportedly add CFL head coach to staff

The Cleveland Browns officially announced on Monday a list of assistant coaches to work with new head coach Freddie Kitchens, but they apparently have another name to add.

According to multiple reports Tuesday night, Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach and general manager Chris Jones is leaving his position and will join the Cleveland staff.

Davis Sanchez of Canadian sports network TSN said Jones will serve as senior defensive specialist.

Jones and Kitchens have a relationship that dates back more than 20 years. Jones, a Tennessee native, was a graduate assistant at Alabama in 1997, which was Kitchens’ final season at quarterback for the Crimson Tide.

Jones, 51, began coaching in the Canadian Football League in 2002 and was a part of four Grey Cup-winning teams. He was the CFL Coach of the Year in 2018.

The Browns have not confirmed Jones’ hiring, but they did confirm the following members of Kitchens’ staff on Monday: Todd Monken, offensive coordinator; Steve Wilks, defensive coordinator; Mike Priefer, special teams coordinator; James Campen, offensive line/associate head coach; Jody Wright, special assistant to the head coach; Ryan Lindley, quarterbacks; Stump Mitchell, running backs/run-game coordinator; and Jim Dray and Tyler Tettleton, offensive quality control.

The team is also reportedly interviewing former Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Al Holcomb for a spot on Kitchens’ staff.

Holcomb, 48, spent five years as the Carolina Panthers’ linebackers coach before getting his first coordinator job last year.

–Field Level Media

Read More 182 Words

McIlroy commits to Farmers Insurance Open for first time

McIlroy commits to Farmers Insurance Open for first time

McIlroy commits to Farmers Insurance Open for first time

Rory McIlroy will tee it up at Torrey Pines next week at the Farmers Insurance Open, tournament organizers announced Tuesday.

This will be the first appearance in the San Diego-area event for the world No. 8 player, who noted his focus in 2019 will be on the PGA Tour. McIlroy recently finished in a three-way tie for fourth at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Hawaii, which also was a new event for the Northern Ireland native. While at Kapalua, McIlroy told reported he wanted to play once more before the Genesis Open in Southern California in mid-February.

The 29-year-old McIlroy has won 14 PGA Tour titles including four majors. His most recent victory was at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla., last March.

McIlroy joins a field that includes defending champion Jason Day, FedExCup champ Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth. Tiger Woods, who has played the event 17 times and won seven of them, has yet to commit to the Jan. 24-27 event.

The commitment deadline for the event is Friday at 5 p.m. ET.

–Field Level Media

Read More 132 Words

Giants QB Lauletta pleads guilty to disorderly persons offense

Giants QB Lauletta pleads guilty to disorderly persons offense

Giants QB Lauletta pleads guilty to disorderly persons offense

New York Giants rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a disorderly persons offense stemming from an October incident, ESPN reported.

Lauletta also admitted guilt to tickets for an improper turn and disregarding an officer’s instructions in a proceeding at Hudson County Court in Jersey City, N.J. Another disorderly persons charge and an eluding police charge were dropped.

All charges will be dropped if Lauletta remains out of trouble for the next 12 months.

Lauletta was arrested Oct. 30 at approximately 8 a.m. ET as he was driving to the team’s practice facility in East Rutherford, N.J.

The Weehawken Police Department said in a press release that day that Lauletta was observed operating a 2017 Jaguar “in a dangerous manner in heavy traffic” and nearly struck an officer while attempting to evade him.

“Upon being directed by an officer to continue in his marked lane, Mr. Lauletta attempted to evade him, making an illegal turn and continuing towards Route 495, almost striking the officer,” the statement said in part. “Mr. Lauletta was subsequently stopped by another officer and refused various instructions to provide his driving credentials and exit his vehicle.

“He was then arrested and charged with eluding police, a third-degree crime, obstructing administration of law, and resisting arrest, which are disorderly persons offenses. Motor vehicle charges are for reckless driving, disregarding an officer’s directions, improper turn in marked traffic lane, and failure to remain in a marked lane.”

The police statement said a 2017 Jaguar registered to Lauletta was involved in a similar incident the previous day in the same location and didn’t stop at the scene.

The Giants reportedly fined Lauletta for the incident.

The 23-year-old Lauletta appeared in two games this season. He was 0-for-5 passing with an interception against the Washington Redskins on Dec. 9 and didn’t attempt any passes in his other appearance against the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 30.

Lauletta was a fourth-round pick out of Richmond.

–Field Level Media

Read More 272 Words

Cowboys, Chargers coaching Pro Bowl; Luck replaces Rivers

Cowboys, Chargers coaching Pro Bowl; Luck replaces Rivers

Cowboys, Chargers coaching Pro Bowl; Luck replaces Rivers

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was named to his fourth Pro Bowl, the NFL announced on Tuesday, as an injury replacement for Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.

Luck’s selection marks the first since 2014 for the six-year veteran, who was a Pro Bowl pick in his first three seasons.

Luck missed the entire 2017 campaign while recovering from shoulder surgery but returned in 2018 to record his career-best overall season. The 29-year-old recorded career highs in completions (430), attempts (639), completion percentage (67.3) and passer rating (98.7). In 16 games this season, he threw for 4,593 yards with 39 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

“Through everything there was just something there with him that I saw, talking to him, his conviction, his belief in where he was going,” Colts general manager Chris Ballard said of Luck on Monday. “I just believed, and I believed that we would get it right here.”

Also Tuesday, the NFL announced the Chargers’ and Dallas Cowboys’ staffs will coach the AFC and NFC teams, respectively, in the Pro Bowl. The coaching staffs of the highest-seeded divisional-round losers typically coach the league’s annual all-star game, barring significant staff changes.

The Chargers, whose postseason included a wild-card win on the road at Baltimore before a loss to New England in the divisional round, finished the season 12-4 and first in the AFC West. Head coach Anthony Lynn confirmed Monday that he and his staff will handle coaching duties for the AFC squad, which boasts a league-high seven Chargers players selected for the game.

This marks the third time in the last five years that Jason Garrett and the Cowboys’ staff will coach the Pro Bowl. The Cowboys, who finished 10-6 and won the NFC East, defeated the Seattle Seahawks in the wild-card round and before falling to Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round.

The Pro Bowl is set for Jan. 27 in Orlando, Fla.

–Field Level Media

Read More 257 Words

Parry to referee Super Bowl LIII

Parry to referee Super Bowl LIII

Parry to referee Super Bowl LIII

John Parry will be the referee for Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, the NFL announced Tuesday.

It will be Parry’s second Super Bowl as referee and third as an official. He refereed Super Bowl XLVI, the New York Giants’ second victory over the New England Patriots, and was the side judge in Super Bowl XLI, when the Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears.

Parry’s crew for the game on Feb. 3 comprises umpire Fred Bryan, down judge Edgar Camp, line judge Jeff Bergman, field judge Steve Zimmer, side judge Eugene Hall and back judge Terrence Miles.

Bryan, Camp and Hall will be working their first Super Bowls, while Bergman, Zimmer and Miles have each worked one before.

Parry officiated the Los Angeles Rams’ game against the Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round, in which eight penalties for 67 yards were called. One call in that game made by Parry drew attention — he ruled a sack with Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott “in the grasp” when Prescott’s teammate, not an opponent, was holding him in the pocket.

Parry’s regular-season crew — which was made up of different officials — called 13 penalties for 112.7 yards per game this year.

–Field Level Media

Read More 143 Words

Report: Jaguars interviewing McCoy for OC

Report: Jaguars interviewing McCoy for OC

The Jacksonville Jaguars are interviewing former Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator

Report: Jaguars interviewing McCoy for OC

The Jacksonville Jaguars are interviewing former Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Mike McCoy for the same position on their staff, ESPN reported Tuesday.

McCoy, 46, was fired by the Cardinals in October, as Arizona’s offense ranked at or near the bottom of the NFL in nearly every major category. It was the second consecutive season in which McCoy was fired midseason; the Denver Broncos let him go midway through 2017.

McCoy has six years of experience as an offensive coordinator, including a four-year stint in Denver from 2009 to 2012 that earned him a head-coaching job with the then-San Diego Chargers. His offenses have finished in the top 10 in yards three times (2012-13, 2015) and in points twice (2012, 2016).

Jacksonville 92.5 FM reported Monday that the Jaguars interviewed former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo — who also was fired midseason — over the weekend.

Once considered a possible head-coaching candidate, DeFilippo was fired late in the season amid the Vikings’ offensive struggles and head coach Mike Zimmer’s demands to run the ball more.

The Jaguars are looking for a replacement after firing Nathaniel Hackett during the second half of the regular season. Quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich took over on an interim basis, but it’s unclear if he is in contention for the job permanently.

Jacksonville also reportedly interviewed former Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken, while showing interest in Gary Kubiak. Monken joined the Browns’ staff, and Kubiak was hired by the Vikings.

The Jaguars finished 31st in scoring, 27th in total offense and 30th in yards per play in 2018.

–Field Level Media

Read More 211 Words

Report: Cardinals interviewing Cooter for OC opening

Report: Cardinals interviewing Cooter for OC opening

The Arizona Cardinals are interviewing former Detroit Lions

Report: Cardinals interviewing Cooter for OC opening

The Arizona Cardinals are interviewing former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter for the same position on their staff, ESPN reported Tuesday.

New head coach Kliff Kingsbury will run his own offense and call plays in Arizona, but he said last week he would like to hire a coordinator with NFL experience.

Cooter, 34, had his three-plus-year tenure as the Lions’ coordinator end earlier this month when the team declined to renew his contract. After joining Detroit as a quarterbacks coach in 2014, Cooter was promoted to interim offensive coordinator midway through 2015.

He helped Matthew Stafford have a career season in 2017, as the Lions finished seventh in points and 13th in yards that season. However, Detroit finished 25th in points and 24th in yards in 2018, more in line with its rankings in 2015 and 2016.

According to multiple reports, the Cardinals also interviewed John DeFilippo — who has also interviewed for the Jacksonville Jaguars’ opening — for the job on Sunday.

Once considered a possible head-coaching candidate, DeFilippo was fired late in the season by the Minnesota Vikings amid the team’s offensive struggles and head coach Mike Zimmer’s demands to run the ball more.

DeFilippo, 40, also spent one year as a coordinator with the Cleveland Browns in 2015, and he was the Philadephia Eagles’ quarterbacks coach from 2016-17, winning a Super Bowl last year.

The Cardinals reportedly offered former Atlanta Falcons coordinator Steve Sarkisian their job, but he is expected to return to the college ranks at Alabama on Nick Saban’s staff.

-Field Level Media

Read More 198 Words

Report: Jets hire Williams as DC

Report: Jets hire Williams as DC

The New York Jets are

Report: Jets hire Williams as DC

The New York Jets are finalizing a deal with their top choice at defensive coordinator, former Cleveland Browns interim head coach Gregg Williams, ESPN reported Tuesday.

Per the report, the Jets hoped to make Williams their DC regardless of whom they hired as head coach. Now Williams will pair with new head coach Adam Gase, who is the de facto offensive coordinator.

ESPN reported the Washington Redskins — whose defense Williams coordinated from 2004-07, producing three top-10 units — also pursued Williams, but the Jets had more interest. Washington still has Greg Manusky under contract as defensive coordinator, but reports have connected the team to various other options.

Williams was let go by the Browns last week after the team chose Freddie Kitchens as its next head coach. Williams went 5-3 as the interim coach in Cleveland after Hue Jackson was fired at midseason, and he also was head coach in Buffalo from 2001-03.

In 17 years as a defensive coordinator, Williams has called plays for six teams. The Browns fell from 14th in yards allowed in 2017 to 30th last season, but they climbed from 31st to 21st in points allowed.

Williams’ units have ranked 11th or better in yards and points in the same season six times, though none since 2010 with the New Orleans Saints. He was infamously at the center of the Bountygate scandal in New Orleans, which led to a one-year suspension in 2012.

The Jets’ defense has ranked 22nd or worse in points allowed in three straight seasons and 25th in yards allowed each of the last two years.

–Field Level Media

Read More 210 Words

Report: Saints sign DT Walker to replace Rankins

Report: Saints sign DT Walker to replace Rankins

Report: Saints sign DT Walker to replace Rankins

The New Orleans Saints signed free agent defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker ahead of the NFC Championship Game against the Los Angeles Rams to replace injured defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, the NFL Network reported Tuesday.

The Saints placed Rankins on injured reserve after he ruptured his Achilles in Sunday’s divisional-round victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Walker, 28, began his career in New Orleans as an undrafted free agent and played 23 games with the Saints in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Walker was with the Los Angeles Rams last season, appearing in all 17 games.

Walker has 4.5 career sacks in 58 NFL games with the Saints, Detroit Lions and Rams.

The Saints battle the Rams on Sunday for a spot in the Super Bowl.

–Field Level Media

Read More 68 Words